Acharya Sushruta – The Father of Surgery and The Pioneer of Sushruta Samhita

Sushruta was a great medical practitioner and surgeon of ancient India. He is called the father of surgery.

Introduction of Acharya Sushruta

Acharya Sushruta, the father of surgery and the pioneer of ‘Sushruta Samhita‘, was born in Kashi in the sixth century BC. He got education from Dhanvantari. Sushruta Samhita has a special place in the Indian system of medicine.

In the Sushruta Samhita, Sushruta is called the son of Vishwamitra. What Vishwamitra is meant by ‘Vishwamitra’ is not clear. Sushruta received the preaching of surgery from Kashipati Divodas. The time of Kashipati Divodas is the second or third century BC. Sushruta’s classmates Aupadhenava, Vaitarani, etc. were many students. Sushruta’s name also comes in navigat. The opinion of Sushruta is quoted in the Ashtangasangraha; That vote is not found in the Sushruta Samhita; This infers that apart from the Sushruta Samhita, there was no other Samhita known as Sushruta.

Ayurveda is also famous in the name of Sushruta. It is said to be the son of Sushruta Rajarshi Shalihotra (Shalihotrein Gargen Sushruten Ch Bhashitam – Siddhopadesa Sangraha). Some believe that the first part of Sushruta is considered to be made of the second part of the name of Sushruta; Which is considerable. In fact, the Sushruta Samhita is the creation of a single person.

Various aspects of surgery are explained in detail in Sushruta Samhita. For surgery, Sushruta used 125 types of instruments. These devices were discovered in view of the complexity of the operation. These tools include special types of knives, needles, tweezers etc. Sushruta discovered 300 types of operation procedures. Sushruta had specialized in cosmetic surgery. Sushruta also used to do eye surgery. The method of operating cataracts has been described in detail in Sushrutsamhita.

He also had knowledge of surgical delivery. Sushruta specialized in detecting and connecting broken bones. They used to give alcohol or special medicines to reduce the pain during surgery. Used to perform alcohol anesthesia. Therefore Sushruta is also called the father of anesthesia. Apart from this, Sushruta also had special knowledge of diabetes and obesity. Sushruta was a superior surgeon as well as a superior teacher. He told his disciples the principles of surgery and got the surgery done.

In the early stages they used fruits, vegetables and wax mannequins for the practice of surgery. To explain the inner structure of human body, Sushruta used to do surgery on the corpse and explain it to his disciples. Sushruta acquired amazing skills in surgery and made others aware of it. Along with surgery, he also gave information about other aspects of Ayurveda like body structure, Kayam, Pediatrics, Gynecology, Psychiatry etc.

Some Tales About Sushruta

In his time neither there were laboratories like today, nor instruments nor medical facilities, yet with his knowledge and experience, he did such remarkable work in the field of medicine, on which the medical science of today stands firmly. Let us know about such great doctor Sushruta who is considered a pioneer in the field of medicine-

It was midnight. Knocking on the door with someone’s loudness opened Sushruta’s sleep.

Who’s out there? The old doctor asked. Then the torch lit from the wall and reached the door.

“I am a traveler,” someone answered painfully. The accident has happened to me. I need your treatment.

Hearing this, Sushruta opened the door. A man was standing bowed in front, tears were flowing from his eyes and blood from a severed nose. Sushruta said, “Arise, come in son, everything will be alright, now calm down.”

He took the stranger to a clean room. Surgical instruments were hung on the walls. He opened the bed and asked the stranger to sit. Then he was asked to take off his clothes and wash his mouth with the medicine. The doctor gave the stranger something to drink in a glass and started preparing for the surgery himself.

Taking a large leaf from the garden, he measured the nose of the stranger. After that, using a knife and tweezers from the wall, heated them in a flame of fire. With the same hot knife cut some meat from the stranger’s cheek. The man moaned, but his feelings were somewhat reduced by drinking the intoxicant.

Tied on the cheek, Sushruta carefully inserted two tubes in the stranger’s nose. The flesh sliced ​​from the cheek and applied medicines on the nose gave it shape. Then, spraying the fine filigree of red sandalwood on the nose, applied turmeric juice and tied it. Finally, Sushruta gave the stranger a list of medicines and herbs that she had to take regularly. He asked her to come back after a few weeks so that he could see her.

Today, two and a half thousand years ago, what Sushruta did was the developed form of plastic surgery today. Sushruta is still called the father of ‘plastic surgery’ throughout the world.

Sushruta was born 600 years BC. He was a descendant of the daily sage Vishwamitra. He had gained knowledge of medicine and surgery in the ashram of Divodas Dhanwantari in Varanasi.

He was the first doctor to promote the operation that is now called a Caesarean operation. He was skilled in removing stones found in the urinary canal, attaching broken bones, and cataract surgery.

He told the surgeons to heat their equipment before the operation so that the germs die. He also suggested that the ill be fed with alcohol before the operation. Doctors still use it as anesthesia anesthetic.

Sushruta was also a good teacher. He told his disciples – “A good physician is one who is proficient in both theory and practice”.

He used to tell his disciples that before the actual surgery, surgery on the dead bodies of animals should be practiced. In his book ‘Sushruta Samhita‘, he has listed 101 different types of instruments.

Even today, similar instruments are used by current doctors. He used to name Chimtio on the animals or birds whose face they resembled, such as crocodile farceps, hakbil farceps etc.

Even today the achievement of Sushruta Samhita is proof that it is the best text of its subject. This Sushruta Samhita has given new heights to today’s medical science.

Sushruta Samhita

Sushruta Samhita is an ancient Sanskrit text of Ayurveda and surgery. Sushruta Samhita is one of the three basic texts of Ayurveda. In the eighth century, this book was translated into Arabic by the name ‘Kitab-e-Susrud’.

There are 186 chapters in Sushruta Samhita which mentions 1120 diseases, 400 medicinal plants, 6 procedures based on mineral sources, 58 procedures based on animal sources, and eight types of surgery. Its author is Sushruta, who was born in Kashi in the sixth century BC.

Sushrutasamhita is an important text of Brihadtrayi. This samhita is considered as the major literature of surgery in Ayurveda literature. The preacher of Sushruta Samhita is Kashiraj Dhanvantari, and his disciple Acharya Sushruta has composed the entire Samhita.

In this whole book, the main aim is to treat diseases and surgery. Acharya Dhanvantari was the first to bring surgery to earth. Later Acharya Sushruta wrote the Guru sermon in the form of Tantra, and wrote a large text which is illuminated like Ravi in ​​the present world by the name of Sushruta Samhita.

Acharya Sushruta was also proficient in Plastic-Surgery. He was an expert in the simple art of cataract-removal of the eyes. Sushruta Samhita is the beginning scripture of surgery.

Plastic Surgery Of Nose
Plastic Surgery Of Nose

The Structure of Sushruta Samhita

The Sushruta Samhita is divided into two sections: the Purvatantra and the Utartantra.

Purvatantra: There are five parts of Prathikranta – Sutra Sthan, Nidhanpasthan, Body Place, Kalpastha and Chikhasthapastha. It has 120 chapters which have a detailed discussion of the first four organs of Ayurveda (surgical, agadantra, chemistries, rationalization). (Charaksamhita and Ashtangahridaya texts also have 120 chapters.)

Utartantra: There are 4 chapters in this system, which contains a detailed discussion of the remaining four organs of Ayurveda (Shalakya, virginity practice, karyaika and bhoolavidya). This system is also called ‘Aupdravik’ as it describes fever, ‘dysentery’, hiccups, cough, worm disease, pandu (jaundice), kamala, etc. as well as ‘nuisances’ caused by surgery. One part of the Uttaratantra is ‘Shalakyantantra’ which describes diseases of the eyes, ears, nose and head.

In this way, there are six parts and 186 chapters in both parts of Sushruta Samhita.

Sutra Sthan

There is 4 chapters in the Sutra Sthan.

The complete information related to astra-weapons, yantra-upyantras is described in the yogasutra chapter of Sutra Sthan. Acharya Sushruta has described more than a hundred surgical weapons in his place like-

  1. Arms and joints should be strong.
  2. They should be bright and sharp.
  3. Arms should be boiled clean, wrapped in soft clothes and kept in an ark (box).
  4. Bamboo bandages should be used to connect if the bone is broken. In order to properly fix the bones, the law of massage is told from outside.
  5. Description of several types of ulcers and different treatment methods.
  6. Description of applying bandha (taka) on the head and face when it is cut and torn.
  7. To get out of the wound by the use of magnets due to smoke from Lohkan or Lohkhand.
  8. Use of paste on the inflamed area.
  9. To cook raw ulcers, there is a law to tie poultice, secrete, remove blood or make an incision.
  10. Legislation to drain water by penetrating ascites (accumulation of water in the stomach) and testicular growth (filling of water in testicles).
  11. Surgery is described in appendicitis. Similarly, in Panchakarma, there is a simple description of the Tridosha Siddhanta (blood salvation) by heating the place of the disease or heating it.

Nidan Sthan (Diagnosis)

It has 14 (sixteen) chapters in which surgical diseases (cured by operation) such as arsh (bavasir), bhagandar (wound near the anus), ashmari (bladder, and gallstones), mudarbha (mother’s womb) It is the diagnosis of diseases, death of a child), gulm (tumor), etc., and the description of complete treatment.

Sharir Sthan (Body)

It has 10 chapters in which there is a detailed description of the definition of the body, the description of the entire womb, the origin of man or creation.

Chikitsa Sthan (Medical Treatment)

There are 40 chapters in it which describes the surgery and drug therapy of all body diseases.

Kalp Sthan

There are 4 chapters in Kalp Sthan. In this whole part, there is a detailed description of the symptoms of the real and the dangerous poisons, their identity, the drug use of the poisons and the medical work of the person affected by the poisons.

Utar Sthan

There are 4 chapters in the Uttar Sthan, in which the description of surgical and drug treatment of past diseases (all parts in the head), eye diseases, venereal diseases, ear diseases etc.

Illustration of Sushruta Doing Operations
Illustration of Sushruta Doing Operations

Operations Described In Sushruta Samhita

In Sushruta Samhita, eight types of diseases/disorders are described that can be treated by operations:

  1. छेद्य (छेदन हेतु) – Hole (for piercing)
  2. भेद्य (भेदन हेतु) – Vulnerable (to penetrate)
  3. लेख्य (अलग करने हेतु) – Lekhya (to separate)
  4. वेध्य (शरीर में हानिकारक द्रव्य निकालने के लिए) – Vedhya (to remove harmful substances in the body)
  5. ऐष्य (नाड़ी में घाव ढूंढने के लिए) – Aishya (to find wound in pulse)
  6. अहार्य (हानिकारक उत्पत्तियों को निकालने के लिए) – Ineffective (to remove harmful substances)
  7. विस्रव्य (द्रव निकालने के लिए) – Exhalation (to remove fluid)
  8. सीव्य (घाव सिलने के लिए) – Sevya (for sewing wounds)

Above mentioned 8 things called the “Ashtavidha Shastrakarma” (अष्टविध शस्त्रकर्म’).

The Sushruta Samhita also describes in detail the instruments and weapons required for surgery. In this great text, there are 24 types of swastikas, 2 types of samsandas, 24 types of urns and 20 types of nadis (veins). In addition to this, 20 of weapons (devices) have also been described for the action of each body part. The eight types of surgeries referred to above were done by various means and instruments. The names of the weapons are as follows-

अर्द्धआधार, अतिमुख, अरा, बदिशा, दंत शंकु, एषणी, कर-पत्र, कृतारिका, कुथारिका, कुश-पात्र, मण्डलाग्र, मुद्रिका, नख शस्त्र, शरारिमुख, सूचि, त्रिकुर्चकर, उत्पल पत्र, वृध-पत्र, वृहिमुख तथा वेतस-पत्र
Tools Described In Sushruta Samhita
Tools Described In Sushruta Samhita

At least three thousand years ago, Sushruta stated the need to make the best steel equipment. Acharya has also emphasized that the equipment should be sharp and so sharp that hair can be cut in two parts. Regarding the design of the instruments, Maharishi has said that many types of predatory animals, antelopes and birds should be made similar to the face of animals, because the animals are often similar to the instruments.

Therefore, according to the analogy of the above types of animals and birds, the authenticity of the Vedadi scriptures, according to the statements of the experienced vaidyas and the instruments made in the past, should be made similar and reasonable.

तत्र, नानाप्रकाराणां व्यालानां मृगपक्षिणां मुखैर्मुखानि यन्त्राणां प्रायशः सदृशानि। तस्मात् तत्सारूप्यादागमादुपदेशादन्ययन्त्रदर्शनाद् युक्तितश्च कारयेत्॥८॥ (सूत्रस्थान, यन्त्रविध्यध्याय)

Before and after surgery, Sushruta has placed special emphasis on the purity of the environment and equipment (disease-resistant environment). Before surgery (surgery), the method of noun-zeroing (anesthesia) of the patient and its requirement has also been described.

Along with these tools, bamboo, rhinestone and some special type of stone blocks were also used in surgery when needed. Maharishi Sushruta, the penetrator of surgery, has described 14 types of bandages. He has discussed six types of bone movement and 12 types of fractures. Not only this, 24 types of ear diseases and 24 types of eye diseases have been described in Sushruta Samhita.

The Sushruta Samhita details the surgical removal of the harmful fibers (tissues) caused by cancer of the intestines of humans. Surgical methods of childbirth (Caesarean) are described. Surgery on the pulse is mentioned for ‘neuro-surgery’, that is, and the most intricate action of modern times ‘plastic surgery’ is described in detail in Sushruta’s book.

Detailed methods of fracture, prosthesis, plastic surgery, dentistry, ophthalmology, cataract surgery, stones removal, mother’s abdominal rip child, etc. are described in Sushruta Samhita.

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One Reply to “Acharya Sushruta – The Father of Surgery and The Pioneer of Sushruta Samhita”

  1. Is the temp correct? Been in there for 35 mins at 350 and it looks like it has barely cooked. Anselma Armstrong Stafford

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